I always have.
It would probably make sense if this was one of those things I could blame on losing a parent at a young age, but it started before then. When my family moved from New York City to New Jersey when I was 9 years old, I thought it was the end of the world. I cried for months leading up to the move. I tried desperately to stay in touch with ALL of my classmates once we left, and was very disappointed when that didn't work-out. (Fourth graders aren't known for their letter-writing skills...and this was long before email.)
I just don't like it.
For over five years, I worked at Barnes and Noble. I started my freshman year of college and stayed until two years after I graduated. Bookstores always had a "home away from home" feel for me, and this officially became "my" bookstore. I spent so much time there, watched so many other workers come-and-go, made so many close friends (some of which I still am close to), and experienced a million priceless customer stories...
When it was time to leave, it was difficult.
But I realized that you cannot stay at a job forever.
(I must add that I am yet to know the luxury of voluntarily leaving a job since then. I have been laid-off twice in a row over the past three years.)
My bookstore didn't have a Starbucks or a movie and music department.
Customers always hated that.
Since I stopped working at the bookstore, I would occasionally stop by to say hello. A lot of my old coworkers were still there, and I enjoyed seeing them, especially the wonderful artist lady who worked in the children's department with me. Somebody who hates change as much as I do loves seeing old faces and getting hugs and "how are 'ya's."
Stopping by that bookstore always was very comforting.
It made me feel safe.
My bookstore moved to a brand-new location a few weeks ago. I stopped by today. It's a lot bigger...and cleaner...with a Starbucks and DVDs and music.
I didn't recognize anybody at all.
It was weird.
I rushed-out and felt like I was going to cry.
It truly felt like the end of an era.
I was never going to stop by that store I had spent so much time in ever again.
I thought back to that eighteen-year-old girl who DREAMED of working at a bookstore and how much she changed in those five plus years she worked in one. I wondered just how much she's changed SINCE then, because maybe it hasn't been as much as it should be. Maybe she needs to learn to let-go just a bit more and realize that change isn't always bad.
After all, sometimes change comes with a Starbucks and a music and movie department.